From March 2022, some areas in Scotland will start replacing Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with the Adult Disability Payment (ADP).
Social Security Scotland has advisers across Scotland who can explain how you can apply for it and answer questions about the application process. Find out more about how they can help.
We're currently updating this page to include more information on ADP.
If you need extra help with day-to-day activities or have trouble getting around due to your condition, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
PIP is for you, not for a carer (if you have one), and you don't need to have someone supporting or caring for you to qualify. If you're awarded this benefit, it's entirely up to you how you use it.
PIP isn't taxable and you don't need to have paid National Insurance contributions to get it. You can claim PIP whether you're in or out of work. PIP is not means-tested. In other words, it's not affected by your earnings, other benefits you receive or by any savings you have.
Getting PIP may increase the amount of any means-tested benefits you receive, such as Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
To qualify for PIP, you must meet the following basic conditions.
- If you're making a new claim for PIP, you must be 16 or over and under State Pension age. You won't be able to make a new claim for PIP if you've reached State Pension age, but you will be able to stay on PIP if you claimed it for the first time before you reached State Pension age. If you've reached State Pension age and have care or supervision needs, then you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead.
- You must have been present in Great Britain (or Northern Ireland, if you live there) for 2 out of the last 3 years before claiming. If you're terminally ill, you need to be present in Great Britain but the time conditions don't apply.
- You must normally live in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Republic of Ireland or the Isle of Man. Your immigration status must not prevent you from claiming.
You must also meet the disability conditions. These look at your daily living needs and your mobility needs. They're worked out by the PIP assessment (see below).
You must have met the disability conditions for at least 3 months before a PIP award can be made (you won't have to wait a further 3 months for payment if you've already met the conditions for 3 months or more before making the claim).
You must also be likely to continue to meet the disability conditions for a period of 9 months in the future. If you're terminally ill, the 3- and 9-month rules don't apply.
If you're making a fresh claim for PIP and you don't already get Disability Living Allowance, then you must start the claim before you reach State Pension age.
If you already get Disability Living Allowance and you were born on or after 8 April 1948, at some point your Disability Living Allowance will end and you'll be asked to claim PIP instead.
If you already get Disability Living Allowance and you were born before 8 April 1948, you'll continue getting Disability Living Allowance no matter what age you are, and you can't claim PIP.
Once you're awarded PIP, you can carry on receiving the benefit no matter what age you are.
If the age rules above stop you from claiming PIP, you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance instead.
PIP has 2 parts – a 'daily living component' and a 'mobility component'. You can get either component or both together, depending on your needs.
The daily living component
The daily living component helps cover extra costs to help you carry out your daily living activities. It's paid at 2 different rates – a standard rate and an enhanced rate.
The rate you're paid depends on whether your ability to carry out daily living activities is limited or severely limited. This is tested under the PIP assessment.
The mobility component
This component helps cover the extra costs that you may face if you have difficulties getting around. It's paid at 2 different rates – a standard rate and an enhanced rate.
The rate you're paid depends on whether your ability to carry out mobility activities is limited or severely limited. This is tested under the PIP assessment.
If you qualify for the enhanced rate, you may be able to join the Motability scheme. This lets disabled people use the enhanced rate to obtain a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
You also automatically qualify for the Blue Badge scheme, which allows people with mobility problems to park closer to places, services or facilities you may want to visit or use.
The PIP assessment is a test of your ability to take part in everyday life. It's a points-related assessment and is based on your ability to perform different activities relating to certain daily living needs and your mobility.
The number of points you score will determine whether or not you're entitled to either component of PIP and, if you are, at which rate.
The daily living activities
Your ability to carry out daily living activities is assessed by looking at 10 types of activity. These are:
- preparing food
- taking nutrition (eating and drinking)
- managing therapy or monitoring a health condition
- washing and bathing
- managing toilet needs or incontinence
- dressing and undressing
- communicating verbally
- reading and understanding signs, symbols and words
- engaging with other people face-to-face
- making budgeting decisions
The mobility activities
Your ability to carry out mobility activities is assessed by looking at 2 types of activity:
- planning and following journeys
- moving around
Within each of the above activity headings are a series of 'descriptors' with scores ranging from 0 to 12 points. The descriptors describe related tasks of various levels of difficulty and the different types of help you need to complete each task.
You score points for the descriptor that best describes the level at which you can complete the task safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable amount of time.
The highest descriptor scores from each activity heading are added together to work out your points for each component.
Download our PIP supplementary information (PDF, 117KB) to see the descriptors and scores.
How many points do you need?
To be entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component, you need to score at least 8 points under the 10 daily living activity headings. To be entitled to the enhanced rate, you need to score at least 12 points.
Likewise, to be entitled to the standard rate of the mobility component, you need to score at least 8 points under the 2 mobility activity headings, and at least 12 points for the enhanced rate.
What if my condition fluctuates?
A descriptor will apply if you're unable to complete a task on the majority (more than half) of days. This will be considered over a 12-month period, looking back 3 months and forward 9 months.
Where 1 descriptor is satisfied on over half the days in that period, that descriptor will apply. Where 2 or more descriptors are satisfied on over half the days, the descriptor which scores the highest number of points will apply.
If you're not sure which descriptors apply to you, keeping a diary over a week may help you to choose.
Each component of PIP has 2 rates: a standard rate and an enhanced rate. The rate you receive depends on how many points you score in the PIP assessment.
Daily living component per week:
- standard rate - £60
- enhanced rate - £89.60
Mobility component per week:
- standard rate - £23.70
- enhanced rate - £62.55
PIP can be paid in addition to other social security benefits. It's not counted as income in the calculation of means-tested benefits.
However, your local authority can take PIP into account when considering whether you need to contribute towards the cost of any care and support services you receive.
PIP is not taxable. It's not based on National Insurance contributions. Any income or savings you have won't affect it.
To make a claim call 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777). In Northern Ireland call 0800 012 1573 or textphone 0800 587 0937.
Someone else can make this call on your behalf, but you need to be with them when they do so.
During this call, you'll need to provide basic details including your personal and contact details, National Insurance number and details of your bank or building society (for payment purposes). It will help if you have this information ready when you make the call.
You'll be asked for details of your GP and hospital specialist, and if you have a mental health or behavioural problem (you're asked this in case you need help to complete the claim form). You should not be asked what your medical condition is or how it affects you at this stage.
If you find it difficult to use the phone, and don't have someone to help give the answers, it's possible to use a paper claim form (although this can delay the decision on your claim). To request the PIP1 form, write to:
Personal Independence Payment New Claims
Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton
In Northern Ireland the address is:
Personal Independence Payment Centre
Castle Court, Royal Avenue, Belfast
What happens next?
If you meet the basic qualifying conditions for PIP (see previous section 'Do I qualify?'), you'll be sent a form to complete called 'How your disability affects you'.
If it's clear from the information you provided when you started the claim that you don't satisfy the basic qualifying conditions for PIP, the Department for Work and Pensions will send you a letter stating that your claim has been disallowed.
The form gives you the chance to describe how your condition affects your daily life. An information booklet comes with the form. Read this first, and have a look through the form before completing any of it.
You can also download our PIP supplementary information (PDF, 117KB) for extra guidance, examples and definitions.
You may wish to write in pencil first, or make some notes on separate sheets of paper, before filling in the form in pen. You can now complete the form online before printing it off to send via post, but you will need to enclose the original form sent to you with this print off.
If you have difficulty writing and don't have someone who could help fill in the form for you, contact the Parkinson's UK helpline for support.
The form will first ask for details of the professionals who are best placed to provide advice on how your disability or health condition affects you. Examples are given – they can include social workers and support workers, as well as medical professionals, such as your GP.
It's best to put details of the professionals who know your problems best, such as your Parkinson's nurse.
Whoever you put down, contact them and let them know that you're applying for PIP and have included their contact details on the form. Make it clear that you give permission for them to discuss your condition, as this will help to speed up the process and may help you avoid having a face-to-face consultation.
Most of the form is made up of questions about your day-to-day life, relating to the points-based PIP assessment. You get points for what you can't manage, not for what you can.
It's important to be clear about the difficulties you experience, so that you're assessed accurately. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the form – you don't have to do it all in one sitting.
Questions 3 to 12 relate to the activity headings of the daily living component. Questions 13 and 14 relate to the activity headings of the mobility component.
The activity headings, the 'descriptors', and the points allocated to each descriptor, are listed in our PIP supplementary information sheet (PDF, 117KB).
When thinking about which descriptor should apply to you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Would you have problems with this sort of task at some point in the day?
- Do you need help to complete the task? If so, what kind of help do you need? Does someone physically help you, reassure you, encourage you, remind you or explain to you how to do something? Or do they need to supervise or watch over you?
- Do you use aids or appliances to help you with a task? If so, say what they are and how useful they are.
- Can you do some parts of the task but not others?
- Are you unable to do the task at all? Explain why.
- Can you do a task but it takes you at least twice as long as it should?
- Can you do this task as often as you need to throughout the day?
- Do your needs change? Explain in what way and how often. Describe your good and bad days or how your needs vary throughout the day.
- Do you regularly have accidents (such as falls) or are you at risk of having accidents if attempting the task alone?
- Do you have any side effects from doing the task? Do you experience pain, breathlessness, tiredness or stress and anxiety either during or after the task?
For some of these points, it might help to keep a diary of your needs.
The extra information box
The second page of each question has a box where you can explain what difficulties you face with each activity. Examples are provided above the box and in the information booklet that comes with the form.
For more detailed guidance on the questions, including examples that could be written in the extra information box, please our PIP supplementary information sheet (PDF, 117KB).
If you can, attach photocopies of any additional evidence that you have to the form. Anything that helps an assessor understand how your condition impacts your day-to-day life is useful. For example, you could include copies of:
- care and support plans
- information from professionals such as your specialist, Parkinson's nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, support worker or counsellor
If you keep a diary of how your condition affects you, it may also be helpful to include a copy.
A consultation will usually be arranged (see below). So if you'd prefer this to take place in the morning or in the afternoon, put this on your form, as it may help you avoid being given an inappropriate appointment time.
You should return your completed form as soon as possible, as there's a time limit for its return.
If you get new evidence that could help your claim after you've sent the form back, you should make a copy and send it to the Department for Work and Pensions.
Make a photocopy of the form once you've completed it, along with any supporting evidence you're sending with the form. Keep this safe.
Once your 'How your disability affects you' form has been returned, your case will be passed on to one of the companies that carry out the assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions – Independent Assessment Services (previously Atos Healthcare) and Capita.
They will then allocate it to a healthcare professional working for them. This healthcare professional may contact your GP or specialist for more information first before deciding if a consultation is needed.
The face-to-face consultation
Before Covid-19 the healthcare professional usually arranged to see you at a face-to-face consultation, but these were suspended in March 2020.
These face-to-face consultations at assessment centres are slowly being reintroduced but you can ask for a home visit or telephone assessment if you're unable to attend the Assessment Centre.
Independent Assessment Services and Capita are able to offer and arrange a taxi at their cost to and from the Assessment Centre. To make sure they cover the cost, you'll need to get their agreement before booking the taxi.
At the consultation, the healthcare professional will identify the descriptors that they believe apply to you (see the descriptors in our PIP supplementary information sheet (PDF, 117KB).
To do this, they'll ask questions about your day-to-day life, your home, how you manage at work if you have a job, and about any social or leisure activities that you take part in (or have had to give up). They'll often ask you to describe a typical day in your life.
The healthcare professional should consider whether you can complete daily activities repeatedly, in a reasonable amount of time, to an acceptable standard and safely.
If you can't do something at one particular point in the day, the healthcare professional should take this into account, even if you can do that task at other times in the day.
Keep in mind that the healthcare professional is there to build a picture of how your condition affects you on a day-to-day basis over the course of 1 year. So it's important not to worry that you'll be judged on how you're feeling on the day of your consultation.
Don't stop taking your medication as a way of showing how your condition affects you, as this can be dangerous.
Make sure you explain how the changing nature of Parkinson's affects you, including how you manage when your symptoms are at their worst.
- Tell them about any pain or tiredness you feel, or would feel, while carrying out each task they ask you about, and after you've carried it out. Consider how you would feel if you had to do the same task repeatedly.
- Tell them how long it takes you to do things if your Parkinson's slows you down, or if you would avoid doing the task they're asking you about because you have had accidents in the past. For example, if you don't cook with hot pans anymore because of problems with your grip or because your tremor makes it dangerous.
- Don't overestimate your ability to do things. If your condition varies, let them know what you're like on bad days as well as good days. The healthcare professional's opinion shouldn't be based on a snapshot of your condition on the day of the consultation – they should consider the effects of your condition over time.
- It's important to say if you have problems at some stage of the day, for example, if mornings are difficult for you but you feel better once you've taken your medication. Intermittent problems can still help you get an award of PIP.
You should only be treated as being able to perform a task if you can do so safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and in a reasonable time period. Try to make it clear to the healthcare professional if this is not the case.
After the consultation
After the consultation, the healthcare professional will complete their report and send it to a Department for Work and Pensions case manager. They will then decide whether or not to award you PIP and, if it's awarded, at what rate and for how long.
PIP is normally paid every 4 weeks in arrears into a bank, building society or Post Office card account.
If your claim is turned down, you have 1 calendar month from the date of the decision in which to ask the Department for Work and Pensions to look at the decision again. This is called a 'mandatory reconsideration'.
You can also ask for a mandatory reconsideration if you're unhappy with the level of the benefit you've been awarded or the period for which it's been awarded.
Don't be discouraged from asking for a mandatory reconsideration. Be careful, however, because when you ask for one, the Department for Work and Pensions will look at the whole award and they can take away the rate of PIP you've already been granted. If you're in any doubt, contact the Parkinson's UK helpline.
How to ask for a mandatory reconsideration
To ask for a mandatory reconsideration, write to the address (or ring the number) on the decision letter and do the following:
- Request a mandatory reconsideration of the decision. Explain why you disagree simply at this stage, for example, "I believe that you've underestimated the impact of my disability, the extent of my mobility problems and the difficulties I have in carrying out daily living activities."
- Ask them to send you copies of all the evidence that was used in making the decision.
- Ask them not to take any further action until you've had the chance to respond to that evidence. If you phone, put your request in writing as well. You can use a CRMR1 mandatory reconsideration request form but you're not obliged to do so. Keep a copy of your request. If you haven't received the evidence after 2 weeks, phone the Department for Work and Pensions again to remind them to send it.
Building a case
When you do receive the evidence, you should get a better idea of why the decision was made.
In most cases, there will be a report produced by the healthcare professional at the consultation. Compare their report with what you wrote on the 'How your disability affects you' form. Look for where there's a difference of opinion.
For example, you may have written on the 'How your disability affects you' form that you couldn't walk more than 20 metres without severe discomfort, but the healthcare professional noted that they thought you could manage about 100 metres.
Where you find such differences, try to get medical evidence showing that what you said on the form was correct. For example, a letter from your GP, specialist or Parkinson's nurse describing the difficulties you have in walking, which backs up what you said.
Once you've got evidence to support your case, send a copy of it to the address on the decision letter. If you need more time to get the evidence, tell the Department for Work and Pensions how long this is likely to take, so that they don't make a decision straight away.
A Department for Work and Pensions case manager will look at any further evidence you send. They will then either change the decision in your favour, or let you know that they're unable to change the decision.
You now have 1 calendar month from the date of this 'mandatory reconsideration notice' to appeal to an independent tribunal.
How to appeal
You must usually appeal within 1 month of the date on the mandatory reconsideration notice.
The appeal form will ask if you would like your appeal to be considered with or without a hearing. Choosing a hearing and attending the tribunal can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome.
The appeal will be considered by an independent appeal tribunal. These tribunals are informal (casual) – they're not like the courts.
If you have a carer, they can attend as well to provide information they have about your needs.
You can contact the Parkinson's UK helpline or a local advice centre such as Citizens Advice to see if they can give you any support and possibly provide a representative to present your case at the hearing.
If you're awarded PIP and there's a change in your condition sometime in the future, you can ask for the award to be looked at again due to a change in your circumstances.
This is worth doing if you think you might qualify for another component or a higher rate of either component.
Be aware that the Department for Work and Pensions will look at the whole award and they can take away the rate of PIP you've already been granted.
Before you do anything, make sure that you meet the conditions for the new component or the higher rate (take a look at our PIP supplementary information sheet (PDF, 117KB) for more information).
You need to have satisfied the conditions for the new component or the higher rate for at least 3 months and expect it to last for at least 9 months more before your award can be increased. If you're in any doubt, contact the Parkinson's UK helpline.
You can make a claim for PIP if you're in hospital, but payment can only start once you leave.
If you pay your own fees for the hospital without help from the council or health service, your PIP can continue to be paid.
If you're already getting PIP and you go into hospital, payment will stop after a total of 4 weeks (either in 1 stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than 4 weeks each time). It can restart when you return home.
If you're under 18, your PIP can be paid for the whole time you're in hospital.
If you pay your own fees for the care home without help from the council or health service, your PIP can continue to be paid.
If the council helps with your fees, the PIP daily living component will stop after 4 weeks. This can be in 1 stay, or several stays, where the gaps between stays are no more than 4 weeks each time. It can restart if you return home.
The mobility component is not affected even if the council helps with your fees.
If a nursing home is paid for by the health service, both the PIP daily living and mobility components will usually stop after 4 weeks, but can restart when you return home.
Download our Personal Independence Payment (PDF, 371KB) information sheet.
We know lots of people would rather have something in their hands to read rather than look at a screen, so you can order printed copies of our information by post, phone or email.
Campaigning for better PIP
People with Parkinson's have faced many problems with PIP since it was introduced in 2013. Applying for PIP can be frustrating and stressful. That's why we're campaigning to make PIP work better for people with Parkinson's.